1 John 2
Chapter 2 begins with John letting his readers know why he is writing this letter…so that you may not sin.
John is being very tender here by calling them “My little children” and also offering them hope by explaining that even if they do sin Jesus is our Advocate with the Father.
John says Jesus is the “propitiation” for our sins, for the sins of the whole world. Propitiation means to completely and wholly satisfy according to the Done book. It is more than just payment or covering, it is completely and wholly satisfying.
John gives us a “measure” to use. If we keep Jesus’ commandments then we have come to know Him. If we don’t keep His commandments then we do not know Him.
If we say we abide in Him, we should walk in the same manner He walked.
I think John is addressing hypocrisy and apathy here. How many times have we made comments about “Christian hypocrites?”
At one time, I thought all “so-called Christians” were just hypocrites. The phrase “practice what you preach” comes to mind.
I’ve come to realize that no one is perfect. Everyone is a “work in progress”. And I think that is what John is saying here.
He mentions right up front that if anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Then he speaks about walking in the same way as He did and keeping His commandments. It’s not hypocritical to relay the truth to others even as you, yourself, work on improving your own walk with Him.
You won’t be perfect. You’ll fail at times, you’ll sin even as God works inside you to perfect you, but you’ll keep trying.
That’s the key. The desire to keep trying or perseverance. The willingness to fall down as many times as needed until you succeed with God’s help, if in fact you ever succeed. In some things you may never succeed, but still you must persevere.
I never realized this before. I thought Christians spouted all these “should’s and ought’s” to others while they, themselves were not living what they preached. I just wrote them off as hypocrites instead of understanding that they are “works in progress” too.
I think John was also speaking about apathy. Those who know what the commandments are, who know they should walk in the same way as Jesus, and yet don’t care to put forth the effort. They don’t try to grow.
They’ve settled for an easy substitute for true faith in God. They hang onto the hope that their initial faith is enough and they don’t have to grow it.
But they do. They need to nurture and grow in their walk with the Lord. There is no stagnation with the Lord as He works on us to perfect us, as He works on us so that we can bear much fruit.
If one is stagnating, is apathetic, feels no desire, the Lord is not with them. And that is scary.
Verses 13-14 John seems to repeat himself.
In both verses he says:
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning.
Verse 13 & 14 differ slightly when John speaks of the young men.
Verse 13 I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
Verse 14 I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Verse 13 also mentions children and verse 14 does not.
One of the websites I ran across when researching in Apologetics mentioned how when the books of the Bible were being scrutinized and evaluated for authenticity etc., the council looked at many sources for each book.
Perhaps they had found 2 accounts or records of 1 John.
There were times when they (the council) would combine records in order to have the most accurate final. So looking at Verse 13&14 like this, verse 13 could have been 1 historical account or record and verse 14 could have been a 2nd copy or record.
I’ll have to do more research on this and see what I can find out.
Verses 15-18 are a reminder not to get to invested in this world. We shouldn’t revel in the riches of this physical world at the expense of the spiritual world we should be seeking.
John reminds us that this life is short but heaven is forever. We shouldn’t lose sight of our true home.
Verse 18-19 John speaks of the many antichrists that have appeared. He says in Verse 19 “They went out from us, but they were not really of us”
So I am reading this as they started out as either believers or rather those posing as believers.
Word Study – Chrisma = Anointing in the NT is used ONLY metaphorically… an unguent or smearing, made from oil and herbs… endowment (chrism) of the Holy Spirit
Verse 20 The Holy Spirit is given to us to teach us. It is a friend sent to us to dwell within us. A Gift. Now we can say…an Anointing.
John goes on to describe antichrist:
~one who denies that Jesus is the Christ
~one who denies the Father
The imagery here is so incredibly horrific!
“Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
Can you even imagine turning from Jesus at the Rapture because you carried so much shame you couldn’t will yourself to surrender to His Love?
John uses the phrase “little children” and I just picture all these lost little children with tears streaming down their cheeks, curling up into little balls, refusing to go with Jesus at the Rapture because they carry so much shame and don’t truly believe that He loves them. And then one of those little children has a face.. and I know him.
I want to cry thinking of him and all the other non-believers and luke-warm believers out there.